Are you the parent of a child who suffers from anxiety? If so, you likely want to know if there are any things that you can do to help your child. Perhaps you have tried a few things, and some of them may work. It is possible for some things to work for a while, but anxiety is an issue that can linger for years. The following are a few things that you can do to help your child.
Do not minimize your child's anxiety.
Some parents unintentionally minimize their children's anxiety. They may do so to try to get their children to calm down, but it may make their children feel as though their feelings are being invalidated. It is fine to try to explain to your child during an anxiety episode that they will be ok. However, you need to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismiss them as silly, foolish, unnecessary, etc.
Get a better understanding of anxiety.
If your child is the first person in your family to experience anxiety, you may find it difficult to understand what they are going through. You may find yourself wondering if the anxiety will go away when they get older. It is possible for children to stop being anxious over certain things. However, new triggers can arise as they get older. The best approach to understanding anxiety as a parent is to understand that the condition can be managed, but it may never be eliminated.
Be mindful of your responses.
Perhaps your child has anxiety about an issue that makes you anxious too. Aim to keep your composure during these uncomfortable times. Many children look to their parents for support. If you tense up, this may make them even more anxious. Even if you do not have anxiety, your response to a situation can impact your child. For example, if you respond by making facial expressions or expressing frustration, it can make your child more anxious.
Determine anxiety triggers.
You may be able to reduce your child's anxiety by determining their triggers. Some children can explain what makes them anxious. Otherwise, you will need to take cues. For example, you may notice that your child gets anxious around strangers or when they do not get enough sleep.
A child psychologist is a good resource to use for your child's anxiety. They can help your child develop coping strategies and offer you tips that can help your child through anxiety attacks. Medications are not always needed for anxiety. However, it is an option that can be explored if your child's anxiety worsens over time.